Cichlid husbandry is the process
of caring for and breeding the same
species of cichlid to produce viable
fry for one or more generations.
The terminology for cichlid breeding
has its roots in Genetic terminology
but has evolved or been modified
to convey a certain state of the
genotype of a fish (Genotype
is the genetic makeup of an individual).
Cichlid breeders usually wish to
begin with a male and female without
genetic abnormalities in their genotype
so they opt for wild caught specimens.
This attempts to select quality
parental stock. The appearance of
the fish (phenotype)
can be used to guess at the genotype
quality, but this is just a guess.
Fish that have been obtained from
their natural habitats are labeled
as wild caught (WC)
or sometimes a manufactured term,
F0 is used to differentiate
for any fish ‘wild caught’ from
the wild in say Florida or a similar
environment other than the fishes
natural habitats. The F stands for
Filial (genetic sibling)
and the zero denotes no relation.
This is an assumption, and genetically
speaking these fish may not have
significantly different genotypes.
This is the first deviation from
true genetic terms. In genetic terminology,
the parents are labeled with a P.
According to genetic terminology,
to have parental stock from known
separate genotypes one should have
two separate collection sites or
two different variants. However,
this is not a goal of good cichlid
From a WC or F0, parental stock, fry from the crossing would be labeled as
Filial generation (F1). The number
following the F denotes the different
generations involved in breeding.
F1 is the first filial
or filial-one generation. This identifies
the offspring as the progeny after
mating or genetically crossing two
types of parents with different
genotypes or phenotypes (the parents
are known as the P generation).
F2 is the second filial
or filial-two generation, i.e. the
progeny of self-fertile or intercrossing
F1 individuals and so on. Members
of this generation are two generations
removed from the original parent
generation. F2 individuals have
been in bred one time.
In cichlid husbandry, any generation beyond F3 is often called
tank raised to denote the likelihood
of genetic similarity to other specimens
that may be obtained from hobby
breeders in the area. For example,
50 fry forms 25 pairs that in a
single generation could produce
1250 new fish. The likelihood of
obtaining siblings increases with
Questions arise when performing a back cross or an outcross. For example,
back cross an F2 with
an F1 of the same bloodline. It
is thought that this is labeled
an F3 as the fry are three generations
removed from the wild. However,
genetically speaking, the fry could
not be labeled as such, as this
enters the world of line breeding.
Similarly, when out crossing an F2, for example, to a new WC,
the progeny are genetically an F1,
however hobbyists are expecting
the F# as a tool to identify generation
removed from wild. The correct label
would therefore be WC x F2. Another
outcross would be an F1 crossed
with an F1 from another bloodline.
This does not produce F2. These
fish are not inbred one generation.
These could be labeled for cichlid
hobbyists as F1 x F1. In Genetic
terminology, they are actually F1
specimens being from parents of
known separate genotypes.
The key to remember, labeling should benefit the buyer, not the seller. Label
all fry as clearly and simply as
possible and avoid areas of confusion.